Association between cardiovascular death and myocardial infarction and serum selenium in a matched-pair longitudinal study

Lancet. 1982 Jul 24;2(8291):175-9. doi: 10.1016/s0140-6736(82)91028-5.


A case-control study was conducted to investigate the association between serum selenium and risk of death from acute coronary heart disease (CHD) as well as risk of fetal and non-fetal myocardial infarction (MI). Case-control pairs came from a population of 11,000 persons examined in 1972 from two counties in eastern Finland, an area with an exceptionally high mortality from cardiovascular diseases. Cases were aged 35-59 years and had died of CHD or other CVD or had a non-fetal MI during a seven-year follow-up. Controls were matched for sex, age, daily tobacco consumption, serum cholesterol, diastolic blood pressure, and history of angina pectoris. The mean serum selenium concentration for all cases was 51.8 micrograms/l and for all controls 55.3 micrograms/l (p less than 0.01). Serum selenium of less than 45 micrograms/l was associated with an adjusted relative risk of CHD death of 2.9 (p less than 0.01, 95% CI, 1.4-6.0), a relative risk of CVD death of 2.2 (p less than 0.01, 95% CI, 1.2-4.0), and a relative risk of fatal and nonfatal MI of 2.1 (p less than 0.001, 95% Ci, 1.4-3.1). 22% (95% CI, 8-35%) of contrary deaths were attributable to serum selenium in the whole study population.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Blood Pressure
  • Cardiovascular Diseases / blood
  • Cardiovascular Diseases / epidemiology
  • Cardiovascular Diseases / mortality*
  • Cholesterol / blood
  • Coronary Disease / blood
  • Coronary Disease / epidemiology
  • Coronary Disease / mortality*
  • Female
  • Finland
  • Humans
  • Longitudinal Studies
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Myocardial Infarction / blood
  • Myocardial Infarction / epidemiology
  • Myocardial Infarction / mortality*
  • Platelet Aggregation / drug effects
  • Risk
  • Selenium / blood*
  • Selenium / pharmacology
  • Smoking


  • Cholesterol
  • Selenium